Food, Giveaway Junkie, Wipe the Drool

Birthday Bacon Bash Giveaway!

Today I’m celebrating the fact that, despite all signs pointing to an early Death by Pork, I’ve officially lived to see 32 29.

Not for lack of trying, mind you.
Not for lack of trying, mind you.

I just returned to New Jersey after attending the most beautiful ceremony I’ve ever witnessed:


That’s right. Baconfest Chicago 2014. On April 26, hundreds of like-minded souls gathered to pay tribute to the almighty bacon gods.


The Midwest air outside was as crisp as the bacon that awaited us. You could smell it from blocks away. Everyone was in high spirits as they entered the UIC Forum. Speaking of spirits – your admission included 7 drink tickets! Seven! Yes. I truly was among my people.

My BaconFest partner-in-binge-eating prefers to remain anonymous. I think you can see why.
My BaconFest partner-in-binge-eating prefers to remain anonymous. I think you can see why.

Once inside, I had no idea where to start, so I got in line at the first station and just worked my way around. (In case you’re wondering, yes, my jeans and I did eventually regret this plan.)

Bacon wonderland
Bacon wonderland

Halfway through my trek, I saw Carriage House was serving Bacon Crispie Treats: Fried pork rinds (yeah, you heard me) in place of rice crispies, bacon marshmallow, and bourbon bacon caramel glaze, served with a side of bacon chocolate milk for dipping.

They looked a lot like this (okay, you seriously expected me to stop eating long enough to take my own pictures?). Photo credit:
They looked a lot like this (okay, you seriously expected me to stop eating long enough to take my own pictures?). Photo credit:

When I went to pick up a little square treat from the oh-so-tempting tray, 5 came along with it. I glanced up sheepishly, and the guy manning the table said,

“Take them all! There are no rules at BaconFest!”

And he was right. It was succulent lawlessness at every turn, dozens of people elbowing their way towards things like this:

Holy mother of bloody bacon Marys.

Another highlight was Pigs in Mud from Farmhouse: A cup of rich, chocolate bacon custard, crispy bacon soil, topped with a sugar-coated gummy pig. This adorable concoction even earned them the “Most Creative Use of Bacon” prize.

Photo credit:
Photo credit:

The top 2 winners in my book?

1) Bacon balls courtesy of Mark Hemmer from Bridge House Tavern: A rich yet delicate blend of Nueske’s bacon, veal and foie gras with a Luxardo cherry in the middle, served with a cherry maple glaze over apple-jicama slaw.

(I scarfed this too quickly to get a picture.)

2) The BSLT courtesy of chef Andre Christopher from Bistro Dre: Bacon crusted salmon sashimi with bacon tempura crunch, bacon mayo, bacon ponzu, micro lettuce, baby tomatoes and caramelized bacon red onions.

The line in front of the Bistro Dre stand proved I wasn’t the only one loving this creation.

IMG_6547 IMG_6546

The delicate raw salmon and greens snuck into BaconFest thanks to the tempura flakes and bacon mayo.
The tender raw salmon and light greens snuck into BaconFest thanks to tempura flakes and bacon mayo.

I’d suffer bacon-less nightmares if I didn’t include a couple of honorary mentions:

1) Bacon Infused Scotch Egg from The Gage – bacon yolk, bacon bread crumbs, with smoked pork belly, petite greens with bacon vinaigrette, smoky-bacony kimchi broth:

Photo credit:
Photo credit:

2) Bacon Wrapped Dates from the Municipal Bar & Dining Co – jumbo date stuffed with brie cheese wrapped in applewood smoked bacon:

Photo credit:

My only regret? I somehow managed to wind up with a leftover drink ticket.

I've never been more ashamed.
I’ve never been more ashamed.

What other food would you like to see celebrated, festival-style? Leave a comment by 12pm midnight EST on Sunday, May 4, 2014, and I’ll randomly pick a winner to receive a Vosges Mo’s milk chocolate bacon bar!

Tasting is believing.
Tasting is believing.


46 thoughts on “Birthday Bacon Bash Giveaway!”

  1. Happy birthday!

    According to the Hippie Cahier Birthday Formula (patent pending), you are 26. Once you get to 29, you get to start counting backwards, until you get to 21, then you go forward again. Lather. Rinse. Yadda Yadda.

    I’m on an avocado kick right now, so that’s my vote.

  2. Figs wrapped in bacon are never a bad idea. I had a bacon and Brie stuffed mushroom the other day, which brings me to my festival vote. I was going to say let’s celebrate the mushroom but I know they’re not everyone’s favorite. So I say let’s celebrate cheese. All kinds.

    But first let’s celebrate YOU!! Happy birthday, my friend! 29 is YOUR YEAR. Xoxo

  3. Happy Birthday, Jules!

    I’m sure there are hundreds of festivals for my favorite foods – peppers (hot & mild) and tomatoes!

    There’s only two things that money can’t buy, and that’s true love and homegrown tomatoes.

  4. Happy birthday!

    Bacon is meat meth. Besides bacon, any festival that includes chocolate, wine, or ICE CREAM would be the place for me. I would of course be the one rubbing the choc fudge ice cream all over my body.

  5. I can’t help feeling that some of those concoctions you mentioned have kind of lost sight of what it really means to be bacon, that they may no longer have their inherent baconness. The saying “If it ain’t broke don’t fix it” comes to mind – Can you improve on simple strips of crispy bacon, as is? I don’t think so. That’s not to say I woudn’t go to a baconfest and try all these things of course!

    In the same nitrate-laden vein, I’m going to vote for a salamifest, or hamfest, maybe a saucissonfest, ooh a chorizofest. A salami-ham-saucisson–chorizo-and-other-cold-processed-meats-fest. Do I get the chocolate now?

  6. Happy Happy birthday to you, my favorite mustachioed friend!! (It was a close one between you and Tom Selleck, but since it’s your birthday, I’m gonna let you have it this time).

    That festival sounds amazeballs!! But . . . one drink ticket left?? How . . . what . . . where?? This does not compute! (Who ARE you??).

    Rache took mine. I’m on a cheese kick lately. But, if I have to come up with something new, I guess I would say pasta. Because, I’m also on a pasta kick lately. Oh, who am I kidding . . . I love food.

    (Also, did you happen to get a little something something in the mail? It should have arrived by this past Monday).

  7. Bacon infused egg?? What the what? My favorite food would be chocolate. They actually have a big chocolate lover’s fling in Portland every year for a good cause and once I sampled every single chocolate covered item for over 2 solid hours. At the end I was sick of chocolate. Next time I should pace myself more.

    Happy happy joy joy birthday to you!! Ahhh….29. Yes, I remember it not at all. Enjoy yourself, have a bacon ball on me. 🙂

  8. As a recovering bacon-co-holic your post sent me over the edge. I went on a bacon binge and woke up strapped to a gurney. Apparently there are pictures of me passed out in the bacon case of the local HEB. Hope they don’t press charges. (BTW it was so worth it – thanks)

  9. Happy Birthday! So jealous of your bacon excursion. I would go to a Nutella festival. that would be heaven.

  10. Yes, that’s always been the problem with scotch eggs – too light. Too airy. Need some pork to give it a little gravitas. Gyug.

    Regardless, happy birthday! I hope this year blows away last year. Really, I do.

  11. Happy B-day (the B could stand for bacon or birthday) Jules! Bacon-fest is not on my menu plan, but I can definitely see it’s appeal. I’m glad you enjoyed yourself! Hope you’re doing well! xxx Sherri aka Sprinkles (Come visit me at my new blog) 🙂

  12. I’ve never commented on your blog before, but I’m just too overwhelmed right now with all the delectable, bacon-y creations… Whaaaaat!? – chocolate/bacon custard with BACON soil topped with a candy PIG!?? I’ll take 5, please… Wow. Happy baco-I mean, Happy Birthday!

  13. I was so enthralled by the bacon-anaza that I passed the giveaway! I have to say FIGS, since they are my obsession as SOON as the trays arrive at my local A&P… Yes, I buy them BY THE TRAY and manage to eat most of them myself. 😉

  14. I’m just gonna spill it: I hate bacon and chocolate together.

    I used to sell a bacon-maple chocolate truffle for crying out loud… but I never liked them.

    *mic drop*

  15. Happy birthday! You don’t look a day over 26! Gah, bacon wonderland! And thr dark bacon bar is even dreamier!
    Hmm… what would I like to see celebrated? I am a huge egg person and I feel like they get a bad rep…. so eggs… yolk and all!

  16. OMG! A great big bag o’ bacon!! Oh Jules, how I envy you. Those bacon-wrapped dates look amazing and I’m pretty sure I would have crawled on my knees for the sashimi (except for the whole knee surgery thing I’m recovering from).

    As for a food festival, I’m thinking eggs Benny, but I’m kind of a purist there so I’m not sure I’d be happy with many variations.

  17. Still can’t believe you were within 2 hours of me and we didn’t get to meet. Wahhhh!

    Chocolate celebration – duh. And vodka. How about a Bacon/Chocolate/vodka bash – the trifecta of goodness!

  18. I loved your article and found it very entertaining. Definitely gave it a ‘like.’ If you want to read another blog full of silliness, try

  19. Well, one of my other favorites — GARLIC — is celebrated big time near when I live! How about a cheese festival? I am sure there is one somewhere!

  20. Your dedication to the cause of creative bacon eating is exemplarily. Loved the caption on the drink ticket photo. Maybe you were in a bacon-induced haze and didn’t even need another drink?

  21. I was very pleased too dikscover thuis site. I need to to thank you for your time
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  22. April? Your last post was in April? You’re worse than me! I love me some bacon, but I don’t know about some of that stuff. There’s such a thing as going overboard (looking at you bacon beer). There’s a place callled The Gage? Lol, we call our youngest The Gage sometimes. Shhhh, that’s a secret! Hope you’re doing well. You look fit and beautiful and full of life! Love that!

  23. I really like your blog, your honesty is refreshing (i cringed myself saying that, but my vocab is pretty limited at the moment due to the food coma i’m currently locked in) Bacon Scotch egg sounds insane. I look forward to hearing more from your blog! x

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